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Pope’s schedule for southern Italy pastoral visit released

.- Pope Benedict XVI’s itinerary for his trip to the Italian towns of Santa Maria di Leuca and Brindisi was released by the Vatican today.

While Pope Benedict is in charge of the entire Catholic Church, he also serves as the bishop of Rome, and it is in this capacity that he is paying a visit to the southern coastal region.

The following schedule was released by the Vatican:

At 3:30 p.m. on Saturday June 14 the Holy Father will depart from Rome's Ciampino airport, landing an hour later at the Fortunato Cesari military airfield in Galatina. From there he will travel by helicopter to the heliport of Punta Ristola at Santa Maria di Leuca and thence by car to the shrine of Santa Maria 'de finibus terrae".

At 5:30 p.m. he will celebrate Mass at the shrine and pronounce a homily. He will then return to Punta Ristola to board a helicopter for Brindisi where at 8:30 p.m. he is scheduled to meet with young people. The Holy Father will spend that night at the residence of the archbishop of Brindisi-Ostuni.

At 9:15 a.m. on Sunday June 15, the Pope will meet with local Benedictine and Carmelite cloistered nuns in the chapel of the archbishopric. At 10 a.m. he will celebrate Mass and pronounce a homily on the Sant'Apollinare quay of the port of Brindisi. After praying the Angelus, he will return to the archbishop's residence for lunch with bishops of the Puglia region. At 4:45 p.m. he is scheduled to meet with priests in the city cathedral.

The Pope will begin his return journey to Rome from the airport of Brindisi- Casale at 5:45 p.m. He is scheduled to land at Ciampino an hour later, and from there to travel to the Vatican by car.

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